by Juan Baena '06/'07 and Mike Rodriguez '17
Almost a year to the day has passed since Mike, Juan, and Nelly set off on the Ephs on the Mooove project. Honestly, where has the time gone?
We closed our journey with our stop in Williamstown and some thank you's and we'll begin with those here. To everyone that followed along on Instagram, visited us in the cities, shared stories, agreed to be interviewed by us: Thank you. The outpouring of support we received was truly only able to be provided by other Ephs. The stories we heard (both recorded and published and just casual side conversations) have had an impact on us and are resonating with others as we continue to share them. These stories of resilience, success, struggle, going at your own pace, finding your way have been carried with us through this year and we've grown from this experience.
Additional huge thanks have to go to Rebecca Kuo '22 who has been our editor for all of the videos and has done an amazing job! She is now working at Little Room Films in NYC, a documentary production company and you can read more about some of the cool projects she has worked on. Penny Brewer '76 also deserves a shoutout for donating the flags that were given to our interview participants and helped develop our brand identity. They were inspired initially as part of the class of 1976's 35th reunion celebration in 2010 and certainly resonated as a point of connection among the alumni who shared their story with us. You can learn more about other cool flag projects that Penny's company has participated in.
We will encourage you to check out the collection of interviews here as it is something to behold. The voices and stories cover a lot of ground (not unlike Nelly) and we think at least one story will connect with everyone. We couldn't believe how open people were with such a short amount of time and that transparency helped us feel even more in tune with the project. The care we tried to bring to capture the nuances of everyone's stories comes through in how they carry themselves. We owe them plenty as they all had an impact on us.
Our journeys are ongoing and ever changing, that was a recurring theme throughout the project. While we had some actual experiences on the road (game plan changes due to things like flat tires or running behind schedule regularly thanks to traffic), almost every story included pivots, adjustments, or wants for something different at some point in an individual's arc. That honestly made some of the next steps for us easier. Mike, Juan, and even Nelly are in different places than they were a year ago.
Mike is currently out in Florissant, Colorado doing outdoor education, team building, and leadership development with adults at a facility called The Nature Place. Juan is still in the Berkshires but embracing the remote work bandwagon in the technology space. Nelly has been enjoying the retired life since the road trip (and by that we mean her owner still takes good care of her and rents her out sans decals).
Once again, thank you all for engaging in this once in a lifetime project! We really couldn't have done it without support from so many people: the Alumni Relations office, the alums on the road, Rebecca, Penny, our families, whoever was in charge of the weather for July, Aroop and Laura for supporting this crazy idea (and leading an alumni bicentennial), and you who cheered us on remotely. Our hearts are full, we've grown so much, and we can't wait to cross paths again.
If you're ever in Colorado, feel free to reach out to Mike as he'd love to connect! Same with Juan out in the North Adams area.
Until next time,
Keep on moooooooooving